HCS/SS/SCS/SB 916 - This act enacts various provisions relating to the safe operation of motor vehicles to ensure the safety of highway workers, emergency workers and other motorists.
CHILD PASSENGER RESTRAINT LAW - This act modifies the law with respect how motorist must restrain children in motor vehicles.
This act modifies the law with respect to the use of child passenger safety restraint systems and booster seats. The act requires children of certain ages, weights and heights to be restrained by either a child passenger restraint system, booster seat or safety belt.
AGE/WEIGHT/HEIGHT CLASSIFICATION -
1. LESS THAN 4 YEARS OLD - This act requires children less than four years old, regardless of weight, to use an appropriate child passenger restraint system.
2. LESS THAN 40 POUNDS - The act requires children weighing less than 40 pounds, regardless of age, to be secured in a child passenger restraint system appropriate for the child.
3. LESS THAN 8 YEARS OLD/80 POUNDS OR UNDER 4'9" - Children (ages 4-7) and who weigh at least 40 pounds but less than 80 pounds, and are less than 4'9" tall must be secured in a child passenger restraint system or booster seat appropriate for that child.
4. GREATER THAN 80 POUNDS OR TALLER THAN 4'9" - Children who are at least 80 pounds or children taller than 4'9" shall be secured by a vehicle safety belt or booster seat appropriate for that child.
The act allows a child to be transported in back seat without a booster seat if the child is secured with a lap belt if the vehicle is not equipped with combination lap and shoulder belt for booster seat installation.
A violation of the child passenger restraint/booster provisions is an infraction and the fine is $50 plus court costs. The fine for violating the safety belt provision of the act is $10. Charges for violating the child passenger restraint and booster seat provisions shall be dismissed or withdrawn if the driver provides evidence that he or she acquired a child passenger restraint system or booster seat prior to or at his or her hearing. The act does not apply to public carriers for hire or students 4 years of age or older who are passengers on a school bus (Sections 307.178 and 307.182).
The act provides that if there are more persons than there are seat belts in the enclosed area of a motor vehicle, then the passengers who are unable to wear seat belts shall sit in the area behind the front seat unless the vehicle is designed only for a front-seated area. This provision does not apply to passengers who are accompanying an intermediate driver’s license holder. Under current law, all passengers accompanying a intermediate driver's license holder must be properly restrained. (Subsection 7 of Section 307.178). The act also modifies Subsection 6 of Section 307.178 to apply the $10 fine to persons rather than just drivers.
The child seat provisions of the act are substantially similar to HB 1165 (2006), SS/SCS/HCS/HB 518 (2005), SCS/SB 221 et al (2005), SB 710 (2004), SB 9 (2003), SB 647 (2002) and SB 549 (2001).
HIGHWAY WORK ZONE SAFETY - This act increases various penalties for offenses occurring within highway work zones or construction zones. Under this act, any person convicted of a second or subsequent moving violation within a work zone shall be assessed a fine of $75. The act provides that a person who is convicted of speeding or passing a vehicle within a work zone when a highway worker is present a second or subsequent time shall be assessed a fine of $300 in addition to any other fine authorized by law (Section 304.582). The act also creates the crime of "endangerment of a highway worker." The act provides that if a person commits the offense of endangerment of a highway worker in which no injury or death results the person shall be subject to a fine of not more than $1,000 and shall have 8 points assessed to their driver's license. The person shall be guilty of aggravated endangerment of a highway worker if a death or injury results. If an a highway worker is injured or killed in a workzone, the offender shall be subject to a fine of not more than $5,000 for an injury and not more than $10,000 if death resulted.
Under the act, a person commits the offense of endangerment of a highway worker if the motorist:
(1) Exceeds the posted speed limit by 15 mph or more;
(2) Passes another vehicle in a work zone and such offense results in the death or injury of a highway worker;
(3) Fails to stop for a work zone flagman or fails to obey traffic control signals erected in the work zone;
(4) Drives through or around a work zone by any lane not clearly designated to motorists for the flow of traffic through or around the work zone;
(5) Physically assaults or attempts to assault a highway worker with a motor vehicle or other instrument;
(6) Intentionally strikes or moves barrels, barriers, signs or other devices erected to control the flow of traffic for a reason other than avoidance of an obstacle, an emergency or to protect the health and safety of another person; or
(7) Commits various offenses in which points may be assessed under section 302.302 (Section 304.585).
The act provides for the assessment of 8 points for an endangerment of a highway worker violation and 12 points for an aggravated endangerment of a highway worker violation (Section 302.302).
STREETCAR - The act repeals the duty of streetcar motorman to stop or yield such streetcar to passing emergency vehicles (section 304.022).
MOVE-OVER LAW - This act increases the penalty on motorists who fail to move over when approached by an oncoming emergency vehicle and motorists who fail to move over when approaching a stationary emergency vehicle from a Class B misdemeanor to a Class A misdemeanor (Section 304.022).
SCHOOL BUS - This act enhances the penalties for those who fail to stop for school buses that are loading or unloading children. Under the act, any person who fails to properly yield for a school bus and the failure to yield results in the injury of any child shall be guilty of a Class D felony. Any person who fails to properly yield for a school bus where such violation causes the death of any child shall be guilty of a Class C felony. This provision is contained in SB 1079 (2006)(Section 304.070).
CLUTCH'S LAW (FAILURE TO YIELD) - This act imposes an additional penalty and driver's license suspension on any person failing to yield the right-of-way when the violation results in physical injury, serious physical injury, or death to a person (section 304.351). This act is commonly known as "Clutch's Law". This section has an effective date of January 1, 2007.